Leafs day after thoughts: What’s wrong with Mitch Marner?

Mitch Marner has one assist through three games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And for some reason, a lot of people are complaining about it. I don’t understand it.
The 24-year-old hasn’t produced in two of his first three games. So what?
A lot of fans are expecting Marner to be the best player on the ice. Sometimes he is, sometimes he isn’t. But you have to remember who he’s playing with right now. Nick Ritchie is without a point through the first three games, and John Tavares has two assists.
We’ve seen Marner get the chances.

Only a matter of time until marner pops what a chance pic.twitter.com/boCR665bq9
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) October 17, 2021

In the clip above, he gets robbed by Anton Forsberg, who’s starting this season with a .935 save percentage. His career save percentage in the NHL is .904. So it’s safe to say he’s off to a fiery start.

Marner is having a game, Tavares couldn’t finish. pic.twitter.com/uO023sC6Yv
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) October 17, 2021

In the clip above, Marner gets it over to Tavares, who also can’t beat …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leaflets: Thoughts heading into training camp

It’s been three and half months since we’ve been adequately disappointed by the Leafs, and it’s almost time for some fresh hurt. How will the team wrong us this year? Will this be the year a concession stands worker injures Auston Matthews? Will Mitch Marner be thrown in a Chinese prison during the Olympic break? How will the Leafs keep the hurt fresh, yet quintessentially Leafy? Training camp is our first step on this voyage, and while this entire year feels like it will be a wait and see for the playoffs kind of year, there are going to be important stories to pick up at the start of training camp.
How will the Leafs adjust to Matthews not being in camp?
Auston Matthews’ decision to have surgery in August is potentially going to keep him out of the early on-ice work and preseason games to start training camp and while there doesn’t seem to be any risk to him not being ready for the start of the season, the question remains about how do the Leafs get their lineup sorted for game one.
It will be interesting to see if the Leafs at least explore …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Notes and quotes from Day 1 of Leafs development camp

One day down, three more to go. With medicals finished up Thursday, the Toronto Maple Leafs development camp group hit the ice for the first time on Friday for an “on-ice development” session.
Firstly, four players were not in attendance for various reasons. From David Alter, Joseph Duszak (foot) and Riley McCourt (shoulder) were unavailable due to injury, while Colby Saganiuk was feeling unwell. No update was given on Lukas Gustafsson.
The available prospects and invites were split into Team Blue and Team White, giving us an idea of the two rosters that will compete during Saturday’s first scrimmage.

Team Blue
Mikhail Abramov
Lleyton Moore
Taylor Gauthier
Ryan Del Monte
Matteo Pietroniro
Keith Petruzzelli
Curtis Douglas
Sam Sedley
Ian Scott
James Hardie
Vincent Sévigny

Braeden Kressler
William Villeneuve

Jeremy McKenna

Cédric Paré

Nick Robertson

Théo Rochette

Lawson Sherk

Team White
Brett Budgell
Landon Cato
Braden Holt
Ryan Chyzowski
Jacob Guévin
Erik Källgren
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
Noel Hoefenmayer

Francesco Lapenna

Christian Fitzgerald
Filip Král

Jordan Frasca
Ethan Peters

Pavel Gogolev

Joe Miller

Alex Steeves

Ty Voit

Notable combinations include:
Potential Marlies line of Nicholas Robertson, Mikhail Abramov, and Jeremy McKenna on Team Blue
Lots …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays have apparently offered Marcus Semien a contract extension and plan to do so with Robbie Ray

Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray have been two of the three most important Blue Jays this season and they’ve only cost the team $26,000,000 combined. They aren’t going to be that cheap next year.

After Sunday’s excellent start, Ray leads the American League with a 2.60 ERA and he’s second in all of baseball with 212 strikeouts. There’s a very decent chance he wins the AL Cy Young this season and it’s a given he’s going to cash in and get a massive contract this winter.
And then there’s Semien, who reminded the A’s how hilariously stupid they were to not offer him a qualifying offer last winter when he smashed a three-run walk-off bomb on Friday night in what was likely Oakland’s worst loss of the season. Semien, like Ray, is going to get paid.
The question is whether the Blue Jays are going to be the ones signing these cheques. According to Ken Rosenthal, the team has approached Semien with an offer for an extension, which he declined, and they’re preparing to do so as well with Ray…
According to sources, they’ve attempted to sign Semien to an extension, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Are you still mad at the Leafs?

Are you still mad at the Leafs?

It’s been three months since the Leafs last game, their annual tradition of getting bounced in the first round, and they say time heals all wounds. They say that, but for pretty much every Leafs fan on the planet that wound has been open for the majority of their lives (I have to assume there is a 109 year old Leafs fan somewhere.)
So in the spirit of emotional health, this week I’ve asked the TLN Contributors the question, “Are you still mad at the Leafs and why?” For some of them the answer might be that they were never mad, and I’ve asked them to explain that too. The continued playoff failure and outright collapse against a historic rival were the breaking point for many, others will just land on the fact you can’t lose a player like John Tavares in the playoffs and expect much. I envy those people who were able to move on so quickly. I’m a far angrier and irrational person.
Here is what the TLN crew had to say on the question:
Michael Mazzei
I come into this season with some mixed emotions about the Leafs. There’s obviously the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

José Berríos Finds Success with Mechanical Adjustment 

There is no way around it, José Berríos was in a slump. In three starts from August 12th to 24th, he had an 8.76 ERA in just 12.1 innings. He was only able to get through five innings once in that stretch, and that was the game in Washington where he removed himself due to fatigue. He couldn’t get through five against the Angels as they worked him for four walks and six runs. Then he only got through three against the White Sox as they got him for four runs. 

Walks were an issue for Berríos. Over this three game stretch he walked 5.11 batters per nine, which is well above his season average 2.35. That includes his start against Chicago where he didn’t walk anyone. It was safe to say he was having some control issues. Berríos’ sinker in particular was off in those starts. The sinker is a pitch that gets a ton of late life, so he front doors it to righties, starting it in the strike zone before it cuts out of the zone at the last moment. This gets a ton of swing and miss and induces weak contact. Then he can back door it to …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Taking a look at Otto Lopez’s breakout season

Three things are certain in life, death, taxes and me speaking/tweeting about the Blue Jays front office’s ability to find top prospects during the international free agent period.

The Blue Jays have made some notable signings from the IFA market. Some have already made the MLB such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr (who was signed by Alex Anthopoulos), Lourdes Gurriel Jr and Alejandro Kirk in 2016. 
Furthermore, many of their top prospects have come through the IFA such as Gabriel Moreno, Miguel Hiraldo, Orelvis Martinez, Eric Pardinho and Sem Robberse. However, there is one IFA that I haven’t mentioned who’ll be the topic of this article.
Otto Lopez, the subject of this article:
In 2016, the Jays made waves in the international free agency market. They signed their everyday left-fielder Loudres Gurriel Jr, highly regarded hitting catcher Alejandro Kirk and one of the top catching prospects, Gabriel Moreno. To add to their 2016 shopping, they also picked up shortstop Otto Lopez.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Lopez was a relatively unknown prospect for his first three years professionally. In fact, 2020 was the first season where he made both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America’s top 30 rankings.
Why …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

This day in Toronto Raptors history: Masai Ujiri lands Kawhi Leonard

This day in Toronto Raptors history: Masai Ujiri lands Kawhi Leonard

There are few anniversary dates as significant as three years ago today, July 18, 2018, in Toronto Raptors history, as the one and only Kawhi Leonard started upon what would be his legendary, albeit brief, time in Canada. Certainly, November 4, 1993, when the NBA Expansion Committee announced Toronto would get a future franchise, was […]
This day in Toronto Raptors history: Masai Ujiri lands Kawhi Leonard – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Insiders’ Jalen Green take hints he might not last until No. 4

Raptors: Insiders’ Jalen Green take hints he might not last until No. 4

The Toronto Raptors are still in the process of sizing up the three most likely candidates they could use the No. 4 selection in the 2021 NBA Draft on, and G League guard Jalen Green is looking like an increasingly attractive option if the Raptors want to take someone with the highest offensive ceiling. USC’s […]
Raptors: Insiders’ Jalen Green take hints he might not last until No. 4 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

BJN Radio – Ep. 27: Excellent starting pitching in a series win against the Rays, Liam Hendriks sounds off on Josh Donaldson, and more!

Two out of three ain’t bad.

The Blue Jays hosted Those Pesky Rays this weekend in Buffalo and nearly earned a sweep, picking up wins in the first two games but dropping the third on Sunday.
Alek Manoah had arguably the best start of any Blue Jay this season on Friday night, Ross Stripling was again excellent on Saturday, and Robbie Ray was great in the finale but the bats didn’t show up. We talked about all that good stuff, argued about whether we can firmly call Ray the ace of the staff, and also talked about some bad stuff, like the ugly return of The Rafael Dolis Experience and some shoddy defence in the series finale.
Also, we talked about a story out of Chicago involving two members of the 2015 team. Liam Hendriks sounded off on Josh Donaldson, saying he didn’t like what he saw behind the curtain when playing with The Bringer of Rain. Many have suggested the idea of a Donaldson return in order to fix the hole at third base, but this comment from Hendriks sheds some new light on that whole saga.
All that and more in a busy BJN Radio!
You …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation